All my life, I’ve seen people putting pressure on others for unnecessary reasons. I have seen people want more from others than they could offer. When I first moved to Durban, people there didn’t know me. They judged me because they thought I drank, smoked and enjoyed my young life. Well, I didn’t drink or smoke, but I did enjoy my life. However the pressures of living up to other people’s expectations and my wanting to fit in caused me to do what they had already said I did. I drank and smoked. I went to clubs and partied a lot to the point of where I felt like I was losing myself. Then I stopped all of it. I wanted to prove that I could still be cool if I didn’t do any of those things anymore.

Then the people in my community started saying things like, “Ahh buka phela farm boy thinks he’s better than us.” They thought I thought myself superior because I’d chosen not to drink or smoke anymore, which wasn’t the case. I had no choice, I then had to pretend and be the person they wanted from me. I wanted to make other people happy so that they would accept me.

Things weren’t the same because I myself didn’t truly accept who I was. In the end I just decided to part ways with those who pretended to be my friends, but actually wanted to control me. I wanted to be the real me and for people to see that, instead of pretending to be someone and something I wasn’t. I put myself first and started doing things that made me, and not other people, happy.


Tell us what you think: Do you have trouble fitting in?